School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Joseph Fontanella


Attrition, Retention, Student-athletes, NCAA DIII


Education | Sports Studies


This quantitative, correlational study examined whether gender, sport-type, and sport attrition can predict university attrition of student-athletes from a small, private, NCAA DIII institution. Student-athletes attending DIII institutions are considered a vulnerable population and are largely under-studied. Participation in extra-curricular activities, such as belonging to an athletics team, has been linked to higher rates of social integration on campus and smoother transitions into college life overall. This participation has not been shown to decrease academic performance; however, university attrition of student-athletes remains a problem. This problem is especially relevant in smaller schools, where a small percentage of student attrition can create a sizable change in both revenue and campus climate. Student-athletes from a single institution (N = 409) made up the sample, with data being collected through archival data from the university. This study employed a logistic regression to analyze the data and determine the predictive association of gender, sport-type, and sport attrition on university attrition. Future studies should consider qualitative follow-up with student-athletes who have left their institution to determine whether there are more important factors in attrition that should be examined.